I recently visited family south of the 49th and happened to walk in to a Christian bookshop while I was there. I spent an hour or so looking through their offerings of books and music and – are you ready for it? – Bible action figures.
They had Moses, God’s humble servant, complete with two tables of stone. They had Sampson, God’s muscle man, with a grippable donkey’s jawbone. And, they even had Jesus! The Lord of All comes with a basket of five loaves and two fishes, so that now your child too can act out the story of the feeding of the multitudes.
I stood there for a minute and laughed because I would have otherwise ended up crying at how low we’re willing to stoop to be an ‘alternative’. I think if we spent more time making sure the inside was truly different, we wouldn’t have to worry so much about trying to look different on the outside by making a ‘Christian’ version of everything we see.
I’ve posted a link up top to an article I emailed some of you awhiles back that quite eloquently addresses the issue:
The old Ark, the biblical Ark, constructed to save the chosen from the Great Flood, had two of every creature in existence. The new Ark, the cultural Ark, built to save the chosen from the Great Media Flood, also has two of everything I’m learning. You say you’re a Pearl Jam fan? Check out Third Day. They sound just like them–same soaring guttural vocals, same driven musicianship, same crappy clothes, just a slightly different message: Repent! You say you like Grisham- and Clancy-style potboilers! Grab a copy of Ted Dekker’s Heaven’s Wager–same stick-figure characterizations, same preschool prose, just a slightly different moral: Repent! Your kids enjoy Batman, you say? Try Bibleman. Same mask, same cape, just a slightly different….
Sometimes, I wonder if we’re trying too hard. Or maybe not hard enough in the right ways.